I’ve had a frustrating couple of weeks, which has probably been reflected in my writing. Usually a sunny soul, I have clouded over a bit. After finding a cattle prod by my other half’s side of a the bed and noticing he was sleeping with one eye propped open with a toothpick, I decided I needed to chill out a bit.
When you are typically an “up” sort of human, finding yourself feeling a bit down, people around you accustomed to your sunnier persona seem to start scattering like ants on a hot grill. If I am quiet “are you all right”, is the first thing they inquire. I don’t know if it is just me, but being repeatedly asked if I am all right when it is obvious I am not, can push me further down the road towards that irritable place I’m trying so hard to avoid.Then the chatter begins amongst themselves, “Is she all right?” “What did you do to her?” Quickly followed by efforts to lighten my mood, including actually physically lifting the facial muscles by the side of my face with two fingers to form a happy face, which, incidentally, if attempted more than once could lead to loss of limbs, or possibly even death. It seems “if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy” has a ring of truth to it.
I find when I’m really irritated it is best to keep my own council. Little things can take on larger meaning when you’re feeling out of sorts. For example, I found myself shopping for food again yesterday. If this keeps up I think I’ll just set up a cot on aisle 3 (that’s the chocolate aisle). Standing in the vegetable section enjoying the spray from the pleasant afternoon thunder-storm occurring over the salad greens, I tore a plastic bag off the receptacle. Fifteen minutes later, along with several people next to me, I was still struggling with separating the two ends at the spot where it is written OPEN HERE. Finally, three bags to the bad and still no luck, I resorted to wetting my hands on the freshly sprayed cabbage to give my fingers more traction. Do you suppose they have tucked hidden cameras behind the asparagus to entertain employees watching people ripping frantically at the plastic? At last getting one open, I picked through the stack of small red potatoes, choosing about twenty of similar size and placed them in my bag. Reaching for a twist tie, the bag gave way on the bottom side strewing potatoes all over the floor. An older lady next to me turned and held up her middle finger in my direction which was wrapped with a small adhesive band-aid. At first I thought I had somehow offended the woman but she explained she wears a band-aid on that finger when shopping for the express purpose of opening the bags. Well, isn’t that clever. There may be a marketing angle here. Print band-aids with pictures of fruits and vegetables and sell them on HSN as bag openers. God knows I’ve seen worse ideas. Resisting the urge to struggle with another bag and simply pull it over my head and breathe deeply, I gathered the potatoes and moved on.
After picking up a large bag of flour and a several other items, I paid for my groceries and headed for home. The back road to our house is a series of ess turns. If you have a weak stomach, or have exceeded the vodka martini limit, I don’t recommend this as your route of choice. Groceries often slide back and forth in the trunk as you switch directions. Once I took a small crockpot full of au jus to a party. By the time we arrived, I found the crockpot empty and the trunk, even after cleaning, retained the most intoxicating meaty smell for months afterwards. Another time, a whole watermelon exploded on impact around a curve depositing what looked like beautiful pink stalagmites with black dots all over the roof of the trunk. As there was nothing breakable in this load, I stuck my purchases in the trunk and thought no more about it.
Arriving home, I found my spirits were improving.I was humming the song I’d just heard on the radio when I popped the trunk. The inside looked like it belonged to a Kabuki road troupe, flour literally hanging in clouds in the air. The once deep blue carpet, now a lovely shade of light blue sky, and my other half’s expensive battery charger appeared as if it had been left outside in a violent snow storm. Swell.
After vacuuming up my mess, I put away my groceries and went about the rest of my day. Feeling tired and not in the mood to make and/or clean up another mess in the kitchen I decided to throw together a quick Caesar salad and toss some frozen chicken pot pies in the oven. The phone seemed to have taken on a mind of its own and every time I hung up from one call another one would show up to take up the slack.
Getting the pies going, I put away the dishes while finishing up my last phone call. Remembering that I’d forgotten to take my blood pressure medicine, I opened the cupboard, opened the pill bottle and swallowed one with a swig of water. Progress was being made. Going to replace the bottle in the cupboard, I caught my other half’s name on the label. Oh-oh. Occasionally he has trouble sleeping at night so takes a sleep aid to help him to do so. I rarely have trouble sleeping and as it happens am extremely susceptible to sleep medications. Sigh.
Notifying my other half that most probably at any moment I was going to sink to my knees, curl up on the floor and commence snoring, I set the timer for the pies. Shortly thereafter I was nodding off to the point that I needed to rest my head for an hour or so, a rarity during the day for me.
I left instructions to remove the pies when the timer went off and serve the salad. My other half opened the door to the oven at the appropriate time only to discover three solidly frozen pies sitting on the cookie sheet and a completely cold oven. They piled in the car and went for Mexican food. I ate mine for breakfast. A girl can’t be perfect. I must admit all that silliness just shook the grump right out of me.
“Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
I wanted to share this picture taken from my deck this morning. Too pretty to keep to myself. Have a great weekend!
Chicken Enchiladas Verde
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 white onion , chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded with a fork
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese , shredded
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 4 oz. cans diced mild green chilies
12 small fajita size flour tortillas
1 28 oz. can green enchilada sauce , plus
1 10 oz. can green enchilada sauce
2/3 cup Monterey Jack cheese , shredded to top
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped fine
1 tomato, diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat oil in medium saucepan. Cook onion for 5 mins. until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 mins. longer. Set aside to cool.
Mix together shredded chicken, onion/garlic mixture, 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, 1/4 cup chopped clinatro and diced green chiles.
Spray a 13x9x2 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce across the bottom.
Place some enchilada sauce in a shallow bowl. Dip each tortilla in sauce to coat.
Place 1/2 cup of chicken mixture on each tortilla. Roll up like a cigar and line up seam side down in the baking dish.
After all of the tortillas are filled and in baking dish pour remaining sauce over the top.
Sprinkle with 2/3 cups of shredded cheese.
Bake for 35-40 mins. or until bubbly. Top with chopped tomato, cilantro and sour cream.